Hence for five years I was living just outside London and quite happy to have no car at all. My trusty bike and a pair of sturdy shoes were all I needed. For going further a field a train was usually good enough. Unfortunately, the British rail network is not exactly renowned for its efficiency and reliability :-(. After too many incidents of trains arriving several hours late (if at all!) I finally decided it was time to get myself some motorised wheels.
As I only needed something for going on holidays and at weekends I figured I could get away with something fun rather than boring but practical. And that of course means a proper British grand tourer - two seats, no roof, fun to drive, plenty of luggage space and stylish looks.
The obvious choice for a modern British sports car is the Lotus Elise. They are definitely good fun to drive :-). Fun enough to easily make up for annoyances like a break pedal that only responds after lots of pressure, climbing in/out over a door sill that is as high as your knees, a less than rigid windscreen which means the rear view mirror becomes blurred past 30mph! However, the boot is smaller than even a small back pack! There is certainly no way you could get a suitcase into it :-(. 'Tis a great little car, just not even remotely practical as an only car. Oh well, never mind.
For truly classic sports cars, it's hard to beat the Caterham 7 or the AC Cobra. However both are as impractical as the Elise (and a genuine aluminium Cobra is ridiculously expensive!). Plus both cars have umpteen million clones about. Indeed, the Cobra is probably the most common shape for a kit car - I've come across at least twenty companies that produce them!
Less commonly known are such joys as the Dare DZ (now that's funky looks :-), Delfino Feroce (probably the only car created by an advertising company!), FBS Census (well wacky styling), Grinnall Scorpion (three wheeled insanity :-), HMC Mk IV (classic looks with modern technology), Jösse Indigo (Swiss, but looks great), Noble M10 (great car but didn't sell so got replaced by the much more outrageous M12), Trident Iceni (still unreleased and now renamed the Broadley One), Strathcarron SC-5A (an insane track day car that apparently revs to over 10k rpm!), Spyker C8 Spyder (Dutch, but again it looks gorgeous, especially on the inside - propellers everywhere!).
Marcos have had a somewhat checkered history since Jem Marsh (the driver) and Frank Costin (the engineer) started working together in 1959. They have produced, for example, the Mini Marcos, a contender for the title of ugliest car ever made! Then, in 2001 the company folded. They have since acquired new financial banking and have re-emerged as Marcos Engineering with the Marcasite TS250. This is essentially a Mantaray with a new nose and dash, and a more sensible engine. However, it does make the Mantaray itself a very rare car indeed as only about 20 of them were produced.